Financial sector workers 'lead unhealthy lives'

   Apr 13, 1:31 pm

Melbourne, Apr 13 (ANI): The lifestyle of workers in the financial services sector is more unhealthy as compared to similar professionals, but healthier than blue collar workers, a new study has revealed.

According to workplace safety regulator WorkSafe Victoria, they have high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and are more at risk of developing diabetes and having heart attacks.

WorkSafe Victoria released an analysis by Monash University of the results of more than 400,000 "WorkHealth" checks conducted over the last three years.

It compared the results of 13,926 employees in the financial services sector to the results of 57,490 workers in the professional, scientific and technical services industry, which includes doctors, lawyers, engineers and academics.

The comparison between the similar sectors revealed that workers in financial services had a 13 percent greater chance of smoking and an eight per cent greater chance of drinking alcohol at risky levels.

Women smoked more, but men were worse than women across most risk factors.

Overall, 24.6 percent of men and 11.3 percent of women tested in the financial services industry were found to have a high risk for developing type-2 diabetes.

Wayne Kayler-Thomson, a WorkHealth spokesman, said that the poor state of workers in the finance sector may be a result of the long hours worked, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis, higher levels of stress, and the sedentary nature of the work.

The long hours worked could limit access to healthy food and promote the consumption of junk food.

"An industry that focuses on advising others on minimising risk and on making wise investments could take some of its own advice when it comes to workers' health," the Daily Telegraph quoted Kayler-Thomson as saying.

Kayler-Thomson also said that crucial things for businesses such as reducing absenteeism, boosting productivity and attracting motivated, committed staff were all linked to the health of workers.

The results of the study indicated that in the financial services industry 96.7 percent of men and 92.5 percent of women don't eat enough fruit and vegetables, 70.2 percent of men and 72.5 percent of women don't exercise enough, and men are more likely to have a high cardiovascular risk score.

It also concluded that one in four men and one in five women have high to very high blood glucose levels, 29.8 percent of men have high blood pressure as compared with 13.5 percent of women, and 26.3 percent of men and 26.9 percent of women have a total cholesterol level above the normal range. (ANI)

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